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Membranes for Integrated Artificial Photosynthesis: New Materials for Operation in Alkaline and Alkaline/Acid Conditions

Besides structurally supporting the photoelectrode assembly, membranes are necessary in integrated artificial photosynthesis designs to manage the different conditions in the OER and HER sides, including charges (both electrons and ions) produced/consumed, products generated (H2 and O2), and of more recent interest, pH (alkaline anode, acidic cathode) with minimal losses.

Our work attempts to address these challenges with 

  1. the development of a new stable, conductive hydroxide exchange membrane, and
  2. nano-structured catalytic layers for product regeneration to maintain a pH gradient.
Our results will discuss
  • the OH- conductivity and stability of a promising new structure, and
  • the control of water dissociation catalysis by nano-structured conducting polymer/graphene oxide compared to disordered films.